by Annabel Beerel, Ph.D
Regardless of where you are in life, what job you hold, what industry you work in, the level of your seniority, the depth of your self-awareness is your most important asset. You might ask why?
Self-aware people are those who make the effort to understand what they value, what they believe, how they think, what influences their emotions, their habits and patterns of behavior, and their reactions. Self-aware people are curious about their own motivations, expectations and fears. They understand that they are responsible for constructing their reality and for the lenses they bring to everyday life.
True self-awareness – not self-flagellation or self-pitying – leads to self-acceptance, greater maturity and an ability to find perspective in this topsy-turvy world in which we live. Research shows overwhelmingly that self-aware people enjoy stronger relationships, better self-confidence, a clearer sense of purpose, greater well-being and happiness. They tend to be more solution-oriented, optimistic, creative and willing to take risks. They also usually show greater empathy and compassion. Clearly, this is an important skill to develop.
Mindfulness IS self-awareness. By practicing mindfulness, we are developing our self-awareness skills. With mindfulness, by paying acute attention to the present moment, we witness and observe our feelings, thoughts and reactions. We learn about our insecurities, our desires, our angers and our motivations. We are non-judgmental, curious observers to all that takes place in each present moment. Among other things, as we learn about ourselves, we see our hopes, our dreams, and our passions. We notice our courage, our humanity, our generosity and our self-forgetfulness in the face of others in need.
Self-awareness helps us find our inner anchor that can steady us amidst the tempests of life. It reveals to us our authenticity in its many hues. It helps us see our strengths and encourages our competencies. It guides us with an inner compass that keeps us striving for our own true north.
Mindfulness is self-awareness. By being mindful we are living through the fullness of our awareness which means we are living life fully, in all its multitude of dimensions.
Our mindfulness is a great gift to us and to others. So, try to press the pause button a few times every day. Take a deep breath, slow down, be present, live out of your awareness and not your mechanical thoughts, and you will develop and grow into your potential that is longing to reveal itself.
And guess what? You will be a whole lot more fun!